Inspirational Quotes from Ellen Burstyn

By | July 31, 2016

What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.

Ellen Burstyn

There’s no doubt that the patriarchy that we live in also controls the movie industry. The heads of the studios are men, and it’s reflected in the scripts they buy and the work that gets made.

Ellen Burstyn

There was no such thing as child abuse. Parents owned their children. They could do whatever they wanted.

Ellen Burstyn

I’m always learning and trying new things. When you stop learning, you start dying.

Ellen Burstyn

She loses 50 pounds in the film, and goes from fairly sane to totally out of her mind. So for the first part of the film I was wearing a 40 pound fat suit, which is very, very uncomfortable. But the worst part was the neck.

Ellen Burstyn

I’ve lived most of my life in Manhattan, but as close as Brooklyn is to Manhattan, there are people who live there who have been to Manhattan maybe once or twice.

Ellen Burstyn

I feel compassion is so important to develop in ourselves. It’s one of the most important elements of being a human being.

Ellen Burstyn

She goes from one addiction to another. All are ways for her to not feel her feelings.

Ellen Burstyn

I did my famous cabbage soup diet, so I was able to do it.

Ellen Burstyn

I talked to women who lived there, to get their speech patterns and outlook on life – and how narrow that is.

Ellen Burstyn

To me, it’s a very moral film. If my son were a teenager now, I would drag him to see it.

Ellen Burstyn

Nobody would want to leave that film to go get high.

Ellen Burstyn

It’s about avoiding reality through various escape routes that become addictions and lead to Hell. My character is addicted to television, chocolate, coffee, to her dream of her son, which has no basis in reality.

Ellen Burstyn

Their life is about getting enough money to put food on the table to feed their children, and that’s it.

Ellen Burstyn

I sketched out a rough story for them and the director said, well it’s a good story but we have the go-ahead from Universal to make this script and did I want to do it. I said no, and they left.

Ellen Burstyn

They pulled Resurrection out of the theatres, so it was running in New York and I was nominated for the Oscar and there was no ad in the newspapers to say it was running. So it was literally killed.

Ellen Burstyn

It’s a sin to have your films not to make money.

Ellen Burstyn

I do like to work with young directors because it’s such a difficult business that I think after directors have been around a while sometimes, not always, but sometimes their passion gets siphoned off because they get hurt.

Ellen Burstyn

The interesting thing about doing a play is to find a way to make it fresh and do it as though you were doing it for the first time.

Ellen Burstyn

I wanted to work on this central problem of killing. How you go about killing. Now, in the film I had to kill my children – well, I didn’t want to get that far.

Ellen Burstyn

I couldn’t kill a chicken, I couldn’t kill a cow – I was a vegetarian too at that time – so I thought, well what is there that I could kill? I couldn’t kill this and I couldn’t kill that.

Ellen Burstyn

Well my taste wasn’t very good when I first started out. But later, when I began to appreciate the art of acting, I would say the actress I most admire is Vanessa Redgrave.

Ellen Burstyn

So I was at the Actor’s Studio, thinking about this, and I happened to glance over to the other side of the stage and I saw the ugliest chair I have ever seen. And I thought, ‘Well, I could kill that chair!’

Ellen Burstyn

I always wanted to play Joan of Arc. I’ve always wanted to do that. Now I’m thinking, ‘Maybe there’s a story in Joan of Arc’s mother!’ If I don’t hurry up, her grandmother!

Ellen Burstyn

It’s been awhile. My Oscar is getting kind of tarnished. I looked at it a couple of years ago and thought I really needed a new one.

Ellen Burstyn

My mother was very glamorous. She was very beautiful, and she had a lot of friends; she was fun and loved to drink.

Ellen Burstyn

All of my life I have asked the question, ‘Who would I be if I had grown up in a loving home?’ And I have no way to answer it. I don’t know if I would be placid and satisfied with whatever is around me – a happy, jolly, sedentary person.

Ellen Burstyn

With all the awards I’ve won, you’d think that I’d at least be able to make a living. It’s a really terrible situation.

Ellen Burstyn

I’ve never done anything in my career that has gotten as much attention as ‘House of Cards.’

Ellen Burstyn

When we did ‘The Last Picture Show,’ the whole cast was unknowns, and we all got careers from it. Well, I don’t think this could be done now.

Ellen Burstyn

What happens is you submit your script with an idea of what the budget might be, and the financier will offer you less than that. In order to do it for less, it means cutting out the art, usually.

Ellen Burstyn

With ‘The Last Picture Show,’ Peter Bogdanovich brought the script to the company that made it. They liked it, and they gave him the money he needed to make the film. He cast it with the actors that he thought were right for the parts. Now, it’s the reverse.

Ellen Burstyn

I’ve always wanted to work with my friend Al Pacino.

Ellen Burstyn

It’s interesting: John Calley at Warner Bros. helped me put ‘Alice’ together. It was very unusual back then for a studio to support an actress the way he backed and supported me. He even asked me if I wanted to direct the film, which I didn’t feel prepared to at that point.

Ellen Burstyn

Today, people like Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep have vowed to improve the opportunities for women, but those promises are still unusual.

Ellen Burstyn

The only Shakespeare I ever did was a production of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ two years in a row in my garden in Rockland County on the Hudson River in the 1980s. I had all the actors from the Actors Studio come out, and we made our own costumes.

Ellen Burstyn

When I was 19, I took a train from Houston to New York, and I had in my lap the collected works of William Shakespeare. The play I read on that journey was ‘Titus Andronicus.’

Ellen Burstyn

I’m interested in the cosmos. I want to know what’s out there and how connected we are.

Ellen Burstyn

I was doing the work I was capable of doing with my own native talent, but when I looked at actors like Marlon Brando, Jimmy Dean, Kim Stanley, and Geraldine Page, I knew that they knew something that I didn’t know. I wanted to find out what that was.

Ellen Burstyn

I left my career in Hollywood, moved back to New York, and went to Lee Strasberg and studied with him for the rest of his life.

Ellen Burstyn

I eat healthily and exercise, and I’m not giving up and saying I’m too old – I’m just determined to keep on marching with enthusiasm and interest and curiosity.

Ellen Burstyn

I feel eager to learn as much as I can, not only about my craft but the world and the cosmos and how we got here and whether there’s any purpose to our being here.

Ellen Burstyn

We can all live longer, better, than we ever could before. You don’t have to retire.

Ellen Burstyn

The real work of an actor goes on inside, and I don’t think it changes from director to director – I always go for broke! But I don’t get a lot of direction, unfortunately.

Ellen Burstyn

Directors tend to kind of let me do what I want to do.

Ellen Burstyn

I’ve liked all the directors I’ve worked with a lot. And the ones I like best are the ones that have really good taste about what take was best.

Ellen Burstyn

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